The Nigerians in Diaspora Organization, NIDO, Americas, Central Ohio held its elections on Saturday, November 18, 2017 with the President, Mrs. Teresa Edoja reelected for a second term. Others elected include Bukola Olaoye, Vice President; Onyemobi Anyiwo, Treasurer, Maxell Ohakim, Public Relations Officer and Peter Eqwudo, Parliamentarian.
The New Americans spoke with the reelected President, Teresa Edoja, mother of three who has lived in Ohio for 35years and whose first child and only son died in 2008 in the line of duty serving the United States Army, on the efforts to expand the organization and future plans.
She is currently serving in the Criminal Justice system as a Correction Specialist, managing 500 to 550 inmates with a team of staff who provide various programs under her supervision.
NIDO was established in 2000, by then President Olusegun Obasanjo, to engage Nigerian professionals who live outside Nigeria, in the development of our country.
The role of NIDO is simply to galvanize in a well-organized manner, Nigerians who are interested and willing to contribute towards rebuilding Nigeria and in so doing, creating a better future for all Nigerians at home and abroad, as well as mapping out means to sustain the programs needed to keep Nigerians productive in building our country up again.
I got involved because I am a product of Nigeria when Nigeria worked. I dream of when Nigeria will return again to become that economic powerhouse it used to be in the 60s through the 80s.
Most Nigerians belong to one or more ethnic Nigerian groups, but NIDO serves a broader organization that can directly connect with the Nigerian Government, using the platform we have been given to network with foreign businesses and organizations, to invest in Nigeria, thereby boosting the Nigerian economy.
Haven served on the Executive Board of NIDO since I became a member in 2011, we have been able to engage quite a number of other Nigerian groups, by creating a welcoming atmosphere to attract our people, and in so doing, we have more groups teaming up with NIDO to accomplish many programs that we provide to Nigerians in Central Ohio.
We have hosted our Embassy officials on many occasions and brought passport processing close to our Nigerians in Central Ohio and neighboring States.
Looking forward, I want to build on that relationship among all Nigerians, thereby, gaining more professionals who are willing to serve and bring good ideas that will benefit Nigerians in diaspora as a whole.
My plan this second term is to broaden our relationship with our foreign missions in the United States, and strengthen our relationship with the State of Ohio and the City of Columbus.
We intend to organize more forums for discussions on matters affecting our people and how to go about creating avenues for solving problems.
We plan on hosting a major conference in the coming year, to showcase our Nigerian Women in Development, and to expand on our existing programs.
We are proud to say that we have come a long way from where we were five years ago. More and more Nigerians are embracing NIDO, we currently have 24 active members and many more are still sitting on the fence. One of my goals in this term in office, is to grow our membership, by visiting other groups, and bringing NIDO to them, I am confident our people will begin to understand what NIDO Is all about.
We encourage members to get involved by bringing ideas that will help build our country again. We encourage members to lend their professional expertise in our effort to organize events that benefit our community. In turn, our country will be stronger, and that is beneficial to all Nigerians.
It is going to take, selfless committed Nigerians, who are willing to volunteer time and professional services to build our country again. I joined NIDO because I believe that my effort will count and owe it to the country of my birth, why? Because we have a duty to leave a better Nigeria for generations to come.
NIDO Ohio has strived to maintain a good relationship with the State of Ohio and City of Columbus. For the first time, NIDO Ohio was presented a Citation by both the Senate and the City of Columbus, in recognition of Nigeria’s Independence Day. Our relationship with the State and City is going to grow stronger as we plan on engaging them in future programs and events that will create networking opportunities between them and our Embassy, Consulates and Nigerian Government.
One of the major events in the coming year is the Nigerian Women in Development Conference.
I challenge Nigerians in our community to get involved. We have a lot to gain if we work together and our common goal is to help build our beloved Country Nigeria up again, and in so doing a better future for our children and generations to come. Nigeria is our homeland, we have a duty to help with all the gifts and skills God has given each of us to apply those skills to bring Nigeria back to her old Glory.